Love's ups and downs
If you're bored of the generic pop that swamps the charts, try something fresh - The Swingle Singers' album Ferris Wheels. The multi-Grammy-winning a cappella group was formed in 1962 by Ward Swingle. As the title suggests, the songs in the album offer a beautiful blend of the light and dark sides of love.
The classic Both Sides Now warms the heart. It describes a fantasy-like emotional journey, with lyrics mentioning 'angel's hair', 'ice-cream castles', 'tears' and 'life's illusions'. The creamy alto voice of Johanna Marshall spices up the song, giving it a unique flavour. Another lovely aspect of the number is the vocal accompaniment. Far from drowning out the soloist, the soft and light backing helps to bring out the song's charm.
The songs cover different styles of music, all performed by The Swingle Singers with a flourish. Until (a matter of moments) is a classically informed interpretation of a modern pop piece. The romantic tone of the song is deepened by Richard Eteson's gentle and touching voice, while the soothing Lullabye (Goodnight My Angel) is sincerely and sentimentally sung.
The Swingle Singers are very effective in colouring the words in the music, making it expressive and often surprising. Without a doubt, Ferris Wheels is a jewel. Even if you are not usually a fan of a cappella music, give this album a try.